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Shifting sands of the Deben and Social Media

Social media can be very useful in making people aware of issues in an area, but this story has a rather remarkable ending! Everyone who sails the East Coast Rivers knows about the shifting sands of the Deben entrance. A chartlet is produced in Spring each year, published on the East Coast Pilot website. The entrance can be challenging, but the river is beautiful, attracting many visiting sailors every year, including from the Netherlands.

So what was so special this winter? On 7 December, 2022 several social media posts warned sailors to contact the Felixstowe Ferry Harbourmaster, John White, who stated: “The Mid Knoll buoy is missing, the West Knoll buoy is out of position. Call me if you wish to transit the entrance.”

Another social media thread was posted four days later, by the reputable Dick Holness of ‘East Coast Pilot’: “Re our post the other day about the Deben entrance – the Mid Knoll buoy has been found on the beach by an East Coast Pilot reader. In Belgium! Trinity House told me this morning that they had prepared a replacement which may well be in place later today.” The replacement buoy was put in place only a couple of days later.

Photos and screenshot from East Coast Pilot Facebook page